Can I replace this weird pad with thermal paste? [Dell D610]

Januszoff

Estimable
Aug 8, 2015
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Hey, as in title, what is this pad, I assume it's for cooling purposes, can I replace it with thermal paste?

I'm just trying to revive this old machine I'm gonna use in my workshop, and it got HOT during normal operation, so I stripped it down, cleaned all the parts out of dust and want to apply new paste.

 
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